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vaneger

This is probably the worst idea ever but..

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With technology moving toward better use of holographic storage, it got me thinking of how one might simulate a holographic storage device. Instead of using lasers and crystals, we could use vectors and matricies. I however, lack the mathiematical prowess to code something like this. It could have various applications in all of computer science, and data storage. This includes games. Being able to store a whole map in one matrix of data would allow for increasing the amount of maps a game could contain. This is true of all data the game could use. Being that people haven't done something like this, I'm guessing there is a reason it can't work, but I don't know what that could be.

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well, maybe i dont get you but....
you could make a file that holds a matrix.

but it is inneficient to make a file that only can contain a matrix, thats why we have many diffrent sort of files.

still if i got you wrong.
emulating hardware on software is always inneficent.
if you are talking about physical calculations it could probably take several minuits to "load" a map.

alltogether, it dosent seem probable that it could have any use whatsoever

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A matrix is no more than a 2D array. Storing data 'as a matrix' offers no benefit to space-consumption whatsoever. In fact, many data structures (such as bitmap images) already are stored as matrices.
Unless you can work out a way to increase the entropy of a data set, it will take up the same amount of space on disk (or in memory) whether it's a stream of bits, a vector, a matrix, a tensor, a coded image or anything else.

Admiral

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You store a matrix and a vector in a file.
You load the matrix and vector into a program.
You automagically "shine" the vector through the matrix at different "angles" to generate a "hologram" of the map.

The concept is to create holographic "images" ,where the "image" is say a map file, or an mp3 or something.

I'm just posing the question : can we take a hardware technology ( holographic storage) and convert it to a viable software technology.

The storage of holograms can be modified into an algorithim as I sort of described above. The issue however is, Is holographic storage dependant on the materials used ( lasers and crystals) or can it be mimiced in digital form ?

A matrix can be more than 2 dimensions, infact to actually simulate a holographic storage device, it might be pertient to use a 3d matrix.

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Sorry, i don't really get it.

What are you trying to achieve? What is supposed to be the benefit of the approach you just described?

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Ok I suppose people just don't know how holograms work...or at least it seems that way.

In hardware this is what essentially happens to form a hologram:

http://www.howstuffworks.com/holographic-memory2.htm

"When the blue-green argon laser is fired, a beam splitter creates two beams. One beam, called the object or signal beam, will go straight, bounce off one mirror and travel through a spatial-light modulator (SLM). An SLM is a liquid crystal display (LCD) that shows pages of raw binary data as clear and dark boxes. The information from the page of binary code is carried by the signal beam around to the light-sensitive lithium-niobate crystal. Some systems use a photopolymer in place of the crystal. A second beam, called the reference beam, shoots out the side of the beam splitter and takes a separate path to the crystal. When the two beams meet, the interference pattern that is created stores the data carried by the signal beam in a specific area in the crystal -- the data is stored as a hologram."

The interfernce patterns are what gets stored, the original data is much larger , thus allowing for large amounts of data to be store in a small matrix.

"An advantage of a holographic memory system is that an entire page of data can be retrieved quickly and at one time. In order to retrieve and reconstruct the holographic page of data stored in the crystal, the reference beam is shined into the crystal at exactly the same angle at which it entered to store that page of data. Each page of data is stored in a different area of the crystal, based on the angle at which the reference beam strikes it. During reconstruction, the beam will be diffracted by the crystal to allow the recreation of the original page that was stored. This reconstructed page is then projected onto the charge-coupled device (CCD) camera, which interprets and forwards the digital information to a computer."

The real question of viablity comes down to whether or not we can replicate the effects of light on the lithium-niobate crystal in the form of a vector "shining" on a matrix.

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I can think of three possible ways that simulating holographic memory could improve data access: access time, reliablity, and compression.

Access time could be improved because data could be stored in such a way that one subset of data would be accessed at one angle, and at a different subset at a different angle. No more blown cache lines. However, there is no way a simulation of memory access could be faster than direct memory access, since the simulation uses direct memory access.

Reliability might be improved because the information is distributed, and possibly redundant to some extent. But I doubt that this kind of storage would be more reliable than simply using ECC.

Compression (lossy, of course) could be a natural result of the process, since each bit can hold many partial values. However, the best compression method takes advantage of the characteristics of the data being compressed. For example, JPEG compression works well on images, but not on text. Some kind of holographic compression might work well on a particular type of data, but probably no better than any other compression method for arbitrary data.

So, I wouldn't say that your idea is a bad idea (since it is better than no idea), but I wouldn't say it is a good idea either.

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Quote:
Original post by vaneger
The real question of viablity comes down to whether or not we can replicate the effects of light on the lithium-niobate crystal in the form of a vector "shining" on a matrix.


Yes, we could simulate it, but we would not gain anything.

Think about it logically:
We have a system A that has its limitations (classic RAM memory).

We build a system B that works inside system A (simulated holographic memory).

Because of that B is a subset of A, and thus all of the limitations of A are imposed on B as well.

Hence, as long as be works within confines of A , it can not outperform A.

I.e. Simulated software holographic memory would not bring any speed advantages over classical RAM or HDD memory.

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I wasnt thinking of it as a new replacement for RAM ( however a replacement for current hard drives is/was being developed AFAIK).

I was thinking of it as a new compression idea, or just as a new way to store more data in less space in general.

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